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With the advent of digital cameras I needed something better than DVDs for backing up. My current backups span several DVDs so I thought an external hard drive would fit the bill now prices have fallen dramatically. The 250GB pricepoint seems to be the sweetspot at the moment.
Maxtor are one of several companies that offer an out-of-the-box solution that requires no construction. or technical knowledge. The Maxtor HDD comes in a rubber housing complete with a psu, manual, usb cable, and software preloaded onto the disc.
Installation into both Vista and XP was simply plug-and-play, and the hdd contains some basic backup software. Once the software is installed, then backups can be pre-set to run at the touch of the front panel button, at predefined times, or at the request of the user. The speed of transfer is limited in this case due to the USB connection, but good enough for occasional backups.
Major bad point:- The supplied psu has a slide off adaptor which adapts the 240V power connection to UK 3pin or Euro 2pin. The psu failed within a couple of hours, with evidence of arcing on one of the contacts where the slide off adaptor clips to the main unit, despite the connector clicking into position. Without power the unit is useless, so I have to return a HDD full of backups back to the retailer. Very poor as this contains personal information. The only way to retrieve data if this happens out of warranty would be to obtain another power supply or rip the enclosure to pieces to get the HDD out.
I shall be returning the unit for a refund and buying a separate HDD and external enclosure as if the psu fails on those then you buy another cheap enclosure.
I've got a Maxtor OneTouch external hard drive (lower sized model though, 120gb) that I've had for about 3 years and its worked fine the whole time, I'm guessing you were unlucky and got a defective unit... perhaps that model isn't as good as earlier ones... I wonder the same about my laptop, since I hear others have the same model and haven't had the problems ive had with mine *shrug* fair enough to tell others about your problems with it though, I know I have with my laptop!